an account of Disappearance

It’s been ages, but I’m back. Lots has happened. Update follows.

Around this time last year, I realised that dividing my writing energies between my Ph. D. & my blog wasn’t working for me, and fairly well fell off the Internet, neglecting even my beloved photography, and keeping only a terse presence on Twitter. Around March last year, I also developed RSI — that creeping, invisible affliction of the desk worker. Typing became hazardous, a luxury. My e-mail backlogs swelled to terrifying proportions, growing at a rate equalled only by the patience and understanding of my dearest correspondents. Amidst all this, I spent a marvellous summer in Washington DC, moved out of Cambridge and down to London, filled in an unseemly number of job applications, & found a writing groove. I loved, hated, loved & hated my research; scrabbled desperately for words, focus, purpose; felt myself at once wildly suitable and grossly inadequate for the task of history writing; was humbled into writerly paralysis every time I opened a book; groaned and grovelled at my endlessly patient supervisor, friends & loved ones; and finally, finally, last Friday, coughed up a finished thesis with the last breath of coherence I had left in me. And promptly collapsed into a gin & tonic-induced haze of giggles and celebration that evening.

Barring a total apocalypse at my viva, I’ll be moving to the United States to take up a fellowship at Harvard University in the fall. I can’t say how excited & overwhelmed I am to be given such an opportunity. These days, I oscillate between feeling like the selection committee made some tremendous mistake, and feeling as though the whole world is immmense & rich with possibility. I can’t wait to start making as much of it as I can.

More soon, both here and at HNN. But not too soon, for my poor savaged wrists demand restraint.

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